Return to Skaro was the first audio story in the anthology The First Doctor Adventures: Volume Four. It was written by Andrew Smith and featured David Bradley as the First Doctor, Claudia Grant as Susan Foreman, Jemma Powell as Barbara Wright and Jamie Glover as Ian Chesterton.

The story is a direct sequel to The Daleks, with the original TARDIS crew returning to the planet some decades after the previous story's events. Andrew Smith called it an "alternative sequel" to the serial. (BFX: Return to Skaro)

Other stories which may be considered sequels are: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, which brought back the Daleks; The Evil of the Daleks, which saw the reappearance of Skaro and the Dalek City; Planet of the Daleks, which reintroduced the Thal conflict; or even Genesis of the Daleks, which is more accurately a prequel. However, none of these serials are necessarily direct followups in the same way as Return to Skaro.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

A new plan to return to Earth actually returns the TARDIS to another place its crew have recently visited - Skaro, home world of the Daleks.

But it is some time after their previous visit. The Thals have moved on with developing their species... Yet the shadow of the Dalek city always looms large over them.

Venturing into the abandoned metropolis, the Doctor and his friends discover the Daleks aren’t as dead as they might have thought... and it isn’t only their enemies who have secrets.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Towers of Skaro (1)[edit | edit source]

Despite protestations, the Doctor uses the fast return switch in an attempt to return Ian and Barbara home. The TARDIS instead lands on Skaro once again many years after their original arrival. Since then, the radiation levels have fallen and life is returning to the forest, with vegetation reclaiming the Dalek City. Huge towers releasing electrical discharge are also placed around the area.

The time travellers encounter members of the Thal military led by Kreos. Delighted to meet these figures of Thal legend, he brings them to the Thal City and introduced them to the High Leader Damadus, the great-grandson of Alydon and Dyoni. The Thals have built the City using technology recovered from the Daleks, and the huge ionisation towers are reducing the radiation in the atmosphere. The Doctor meets the Thal's Chief Scientist, Tryana, as well as her assistant Boden and son, Jyden.

While Tryana explains her work, Jyden speaks with Susan and convinced her to explore the Dalek City with him, even though it is off limits to all but scientific teams. They sneak away and reach the gates of the City before the others realise they are gone. They gain entry into the seemingly-abandoned city. They are unaware that the Daleks are alive and observing their movements.

The Hidden Enemy (2)[edit | edit source]

The Doctor, Ian, Tryana, Kreos and some Thal soldiers depart for the Dalek City to find Susan and Jyden, while Barbara remains in the Thal City in case they return.

Susan leads the way through the City using her recollection of her previous visit. She finds power readings originating from a secret level beneath the rest of the city and they leave to investigate, all the time observed in secret by the Daleks. They recognise Susan, as well as Ian and the Doctor.

On the secret level, the Daleks allow them access to a hidden chamber, to prevent them from returning to the Thal City and coming back with reinforcements. The Doctor and his team also discover the secret level. Tryana easily finds a means to access the chamber but she, the Doctor and Ian become separated from Kreos and his men on the other side.

In the Thal City, Barbara learns about those among the Thals who are wary of their new ways and advocate a return to their pacifist roots. Among them is Tryana, despite her role as the Chief Scientist.

The Doctor, Ian and Tryana are reunited with Susan and Jyden after the latter two are pursued by two live Daleks. Tryana leads them to another room housing a Dalek mutant in a large tank. Tryana introduces the mutant as the Dalek Supreme and reveals that she is working with the Daleks.

Friend or Foe? (3)[edit | edit source]

The Dalek Supreme explains that this secret level - the incubation level - was sealed off from the rest of the City during the Thal-Dalek battle. Tryana and the Dalek Supreme reassure the others that their intentions are good. They wish to cooperate the rebuilt Skaro so that there may be lasting peace. As evidence, they point out the two Daleks are not armed with gunsticks.

Tryana explains that she found this level of the City on a previous survey and agreed to help the Daleks by providing them power from the Thal City. As a show of good faith, the Dalek Supreme sends the unarmed Daleks back to the Thal City as emissaries. They return with Kreos, Susan and Jyden.

When the Daleks are presented to Damadus, he convenes the Thal Council who remain unconvinced. The Daleks ask that they be allowed to appeal to the wider Thal population.

The Doctor and company remain in the Dalek City to conduct further investigations. They examine a tunnel from which Tryana linked up the power feed between the cities. They find a secret passage leading all the way to the Thal City that Tryana was unaware of. At the discovery, the Dalek Supreme drops the peaceful pretence and orders the trio captured, although Ian escapes.

In the tunnel, witnessed by Ian, two Daleks take over an ionising station and kill Adoni and the other Thals within.

The Daleks ready themselves for a final assault on the Thal City. Mutants from the incubators are placed inside hundreds of inert casings. The Dalek Supreme transfers from its tank to a black casing to lead the Daleks directly. The army awakens and erupts in a war cry: "Death to the Thals!"

Death to the Thals! (4)[edit | edit source]

Tryana is killed by the Dalek Supreme after outliving her usefulness. The Doctor is spared as the Daleks have an interest in learning the secrets of his space-time vessel for themselves.

In the Thal City, Damadus later reveals the Dalek emissaries to the rest of the Thals. Many are fearful but the Daleks claim they come with a message of peace to all Thals. However, the Dalek quickly reveal that the only means of lasting peace is through total Dalek victory. The ionising station under Dalek control begins firing into the streets, killing many Thals.

The main attack begins as the Dalek army arrives and the Thals retreat. Susan is captured as a hostage to blackmail the Doctor. When the Thals begin to fight back, some of the Daleks are overpowered but the huge force is too strong. The Thal military adopts hit-and-run tactics and avoids standing battles.

Ian and Jyden sneak past the Daleks using an empty casing from Tryana's lab and enter the Dalek City by pretending Ian is a prisoner. The casing is armed and Jyden inside fights off the Supreme Dalek, rescuing the Doctor and Susan. Using the same tactic, Ian raids the ionising station and destroys the Daleks within.

The Doctor reprograms the station to home in on pure Skaronium. The discharges halt the Dalek attack and the survivors retreat. The Dalek Supreme then rallies the Daleks for a second assault against the weakened Thal defences. However, Ian and the Thals boost the power being fed into the Dalek City and everything overloads, destroying the Daleks and the City itself.

The time travellers say their goodbyes to the Thals and depart Skaro. Yet the Thals remain unconvinced that their troubles with the Daleks are truly over and resolve to be vigilant and ready in the future.

In flight, the Doctor assures his companions their next landing will take them somewhere they have never been before and where they will be "totally unnoticed." The TARDIS lands and the doors creak open...

Cast[edit | edit source]

Uncredited cast[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

Alternate cover.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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